Law360 | May.08.2013
This article, about a California appeals court ruling that Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. must pay to defend a doctor against federal criminal charges, quotes insurance of counsel Marc Mayerson.
According to Mayerson, insurers have made public policy arguments against defending criminal claims in New York and other states. When insurers expressly promise to defend against certain criminal proceedings, courts will enforce such contracts unless a statute clearly prohibits these provisions,
"This is a case where the insurer's position was basically ridiculous given the express promise in the policy to defend against proceedings initiated by a criminal indictment," Mayerson said. "It's not important that this is California. ... Insurers outside of California might make the same kind of argument, even without this particular statute."